Europeans pay 14 cent more on average in tax for a litre of petrol than for diesel – indirectly subsidising diesel cars to the order of €2,600 per vehicle, a new study by sustainable transport group Transport & Environment (T&E) finds. This 30% tax gap in favour of diesel is a key reason for diesel cars’ majority share of new sales in Europe and leads to air quality problems where nine out of 10 diesel cars fail to meet NOx limits when driven on the road. 
The gap between petrol and diesel taxes in Europe is quite unique in the world and is the main reason why diesel engines have taken off in Europe and not worldwide. This study analyses fuel price and tax trends since 1980 and adds a specific analysis of diesel tax paid by trucks. It finds that in 2014 the gap in tax levels for diesel and petrol paid by motorists was €0.14/l, which is 30% lower than petrol per unit of energy or tonne of CO2.
T&E commissioned CE Delft to undertake a study to assess the usefulness, as well as the possible implementation and design issues, of CO2 differentiated kilometre charging. The report’s key findings are included in the briefing.
EU approval of Ireland’s €42.5 million in state aid to small regional airports has been criticised for allowing public money to prop up underutilised infrastructure with questionable social and economic benefits. Four airports will receive the grants over the next four years – while the Irish government faces calls to address ‘chronic’ underinvestment in low-carbon public transport.
Since 2010 the average fuel burn of new aircraft has improved by 1.1% per year, which suggests that aircraft manufacturers may miss UN aviation body ICAO’s 2020 fuel efficiency goals by 12 years, a new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) reveals.
The EU is facing calls to work with the US government to ensure global standards being developed to regulate aviation’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are effective – after the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) finding last month that emissions from aircraft endanger human health.
Pope Francis has made a powerful contribution to the build-up to December’s crucial climate change conference in Paris, by publishing a papal encyclical calling for people to change their lifestyles in an effort to combat global warming. It comes at the same time as a finding from health experts that climate change is such a threat to human health that tackling it would be a ‘no regret’ option.
The US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has announced today that emissions from aircraft endanger human health, after being forced to issue a ruling due to a lawsuit filed by a number of US environmental groups. The EPA already found that greenhouse gases (GHGs) from cars and power plants were harmful to public health because of their climate impact.
Ahead of the crucial meetings of the UN aviation body, ICAO, in July 2015 and again in February 2016 and at its assembly in October 2016, Aviation Environment Federation (AEF) and T&E are calling on Europe to push for an environmentally effective ICAO CO2 standard. In this letter to EU climate and transport ministers and European Commissioners Miguel Arias Cañete and Violeta Bulc, the two groups say the EU and the US need to work together to ensure a standard that actually reduces emissions. Otherwise the two markets should work together on their own standard, since they are over half of the global market.
This paper attempts to quantify the challenge for EU member states in reducing transport emissions under the expected 2030 ‘effort sharing decision’ and the extent to which CO2 standards for cars, vans and trucks can help achieve those targets.